Pilot Program at Intermountain St. George Hospital Offers New Option for Urgent Orthopedic Needs
Immediate ortho care no longer requires a trip to the ER or InstaCare thanks to pilot program at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital
St. George, UT (PRUnderground) April 26th, 2023
When it comes to patients in need of urgent medical care, not all issues require the same level of treatment.
For years, a trip to the emergency room or the local InstaCare have been the only options regarding anything medically urgent. But thanks to a pilot program at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital, those suffering from orthopedic related injuries or pain have a new place to seek immediate care.
“It’s like an InstaCare just for orthopedics,” Dr. Warren Butterfield, orthopedic surgeon at St. George Regional Hospital, said of the relatively new clinic known as Southwest Ortho Urgent Care.
Treating those known by Butterfield and his colleagues as “the walking wounded,” the Southwest Ortho Urgent Care is there to serve patients with orthopedic injuries who are otherwise stable.
“In the past, these patients would have to be seen in the emergency department, but they don’t necessarily need that level of urgent care,” Butterfield said. “A program like this allows them to receive the urgent help they need, while making room for more life-threatening cases in the emergency room.”
When looked at from the perspective of the patient, the Intermountain system, and the providers, it’s a win-win-win.
“From the patient perspective, it saves a lot of time — usually less than an hour from arrival to discharge — and it saves them money,” Butterfield said. “From the Intermountain system perspective, it relieves stress on the emergency department, and for the providers, it allows them to offer a higher level of care and give patients more direct access to the providers. It’s been fantastic!”
Since the clinic’s opening in September, Butterfield said the average number of patients is about 15 per day, but they anticipate growing to around 25 patients per day.
Not all of these patients are dealing with broken bones. Southwest Ortho Urgent Care is there to serve a wide range of pressing orthopedic complaints, including knee arthritis, ankle sprains, shoulder pain and more.
“It’s a faster track than going through your primary care physician,” Butterfield said. “We’re not trying to circumvent primary care providers, but they’re so busy that it can be difficult to get an evaluation on the same day. For a lot of people’s busy lifestyles, this meets a need.”
For now, this urgent orthopedic clinic is a pilot program in the Intermountain Health system, but it’s something Butterfield has been pushing to incorporate for years. He is thrilled that St. George Regional Hospital was selected to host it.
“It’s a lot of work getting something like this up and going and work out the kinks, but it’s been very rewarding to see what we can provide for our patients,” he said. “I think this raises the bar for orthopedic care in our community.”
The Urgent Orthopedic Clinic is located inside the Health and Performance Center at St. George Regional Hospital. The walk-in access hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
About Intermountain Health
Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., www.intermountainhealth.org is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see https://intermountainhealthcare.org/news.